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Selection Stones and Pearls

s t o n e s a n d P e a r l s 0 4 8 / B a s e l w o r l d S e l e c t i o n China Stone Co., Ltd. is all about well- matched precision-cut nice quality natural calibrated melee. Chongjie Li, founder and CEO of China Stone, tells us that it was ­actually the watch business that helped launch him in the calibrated gem business. “Watch companies first requested small gems for dials, to be placed at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 position. Then they wanted more in the dial, and then in the bezel of the watch.” And the rest, as they say, is history. China Stone has a vast inventory of well-cut calibrated melee, in many different ­gemstones and colour varieties. “With the latest machinery, we can now produce 30,000 stones per day, and mostly ­diamond cut.” Li says that they do get special ­requests. “25 per cent of our ­business is ­actually custom orders. If someone wants a particular shape, cabochon, smaller table, larger table, different angles, we can work with them and their design.” But China Stone’s inventory is certainly large enough and varied enough to satisfy most. “Typically we have 0.06 mm as our smallest gem size. We have cut as small as 0.05 mm, but those are difficult. We do have requests for hand cut gems, and typically they will start at 0.08 mm. Gems such as emerald cannot take the pressure of the machine cutting process and are all cut by hand.” And as for polish, Li tells us that machines still cannot quite get the best polish. “We have customers who prefer better polish, and so we will polish those gems by hand, too.” In small goods, it is a challenge to get ­saturated matching colour, but Li ­manages to do just that, a thousand times a day. “Most of our gems are natural colours. For example, we have purple, blue, green, ­orange, yellow and lavender sapphires.” That said, Li points out that some, like yellow and orange sapphires, are most ­often beryllium treated in order to ­maintain an even colour. Surprisingly, Li tells us that weight and numbers of stones are second to the pres- entation. “Numbers and weights are really not as important as our packaging,” says Li. “If we can make a nice square of gems, then this will help show the ­customer our con- sistent colour, cutting and quality for each gem. This is very ­important as it ­allows the customer to ­examine with a loupe when all of the gems face up, rather than simply placed into a pile or into a plastic bag.” If you want to place a special order, there really is no minimum order. “Part of our customer service allows for someone to call and request 1, 2, 5, 10 stones, what- ever they need. If they are working on a particular piece and have used 400 stones, but have broken or lost several, they may need to replace those, and we are here to provide that service.” Regarding Baselworld Li says “I think this year we will be bringing cabochons and princess cuts – these are very popular.” Chongjie Li, Founder and CEO of China Stone Co. M a g n i f i c e n t M i n i a t u r e M e l e e China Stone Co., Ltd. · 3.1 / F33

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